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Plesnicar v. Kovach

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 28, 1981.

DEANA PLESNICAR, A MINOR, BY ARLENE PLESNICAR, HER MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

ESTHER KOVACH ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. LOUIS J. GILIBERTO, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WILSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff appeals from an order of the trial court striking counts II, III and IV of her second amended complaint. On appeal, she contends that counts II, III and IV allege proper causes of action against defendants. We affirm the trial court. The pertinent facts follow.

In count I of the complaint, plaintiff, a minor, alleges that she suffered severe and permanent injuries when she was struck by Esther Kovach's car while she was crossing St. Charles Road in Berkeley, Illinois. Count II was directed against the Village of Berkeley (Village). She alleges that the intersection of St. Charles Road and Wolf Road was unreasonably dangerous in that it carried a high volume of traffic and the traffic lights at no time prohibited the movement of traffic so as to allow a pedestrian to cross this road without being endangered. She further alleged that Village was aware of this danger and the fact that minors attending the junior high school would be required to attempt to cross this intersection. Specifically, the complaint alleges the Village committed these wrongful omissions:

(a) Failed to provide crossing guards to assist minors to cross the said intersection.

(b) Failed to post signs to warn minors of the unusual dangers of the intersection.

(c) Failed to post adequate warnings to minors of the unusual dangers posed by the intersection.

(d) Otherwise carelessly and negligently operated, managed and controlled those portions of the said intersection under its control and the approaches thereto.

Count III alleged that the school district, with knowledge of the dangerous intersection, conducted and invited students to participate in a program of extracurricular activities at the junior high school. Further, the school district, which provided school bus transportation for the students, failed to provide such service for students remaining after regular hours to participate in the extracurricular activities. As such, she was required to walk home after remaining in school as a participant in an extracurricular activity and was injured as she attempted to cross the intersection. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the school board:

(a) Failed to provide a system of bus transportation to transport students remaining after regular class hours to participate in extracurricular activities to their homes.

(b) Provided a bus system for transportation of students which was defective, in that it did not provide transportation for students remaining after normal class hours to participate in extracurricular activities to their homes.

Count IV contains allegations of wilful and wanton acts and/or omissions on the part of the school district for failing to (1) provide adequate supervision for students upon their dismissal; (2) warn students of the dangerous intersection; (3) provide adequate assistance to students crossing the intersection; and (4) transport students leaving the school after extracurricular activities.

The Village of Berkeley filed its motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action. It argued that the operation of the traffic lights at the intersection did not constitute an unusual danger and it had no duty to provide crossing guards.

The school board also made a motion to strike and dismiss, alleging that it had no duty to provide bus service for students participating in extracurricular activities and that the bus system was not defective for failure to do so.

The trial court granted the motion to dismiss counts II, III, and IV, ruling that no legal duty existed and relying on the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act ...


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